The Sacramento Choral Calendar
Music in Motion - April 26, 2015
by Clark Abrahamson
First off, who’d ‘a thunk that, in an area with a relatively small population base, a choral group would survive — much less thrive — for over 50 years? But such seems to be the case with the Amador Choraliers, an amazing group of singers who’ve been delighting area audiences since 1963.
I had the pleasure of attending their spring concert on Sunday, April 26th, and came away wishing the show could have gone longer than the thoroughly enjoyable twenty-two song, two-hour performance.
To tell the truth, they had me within the first few bars of their first number (an animated rendition of “Mississippi Mud”), when it became evident that these folks were clearly having a hoot — they obviously enjoy immensely what they do. Perhaps that’s why they do it so well.
(Click here to open the program in a new window.)
Then I settled back (well, actually, I found myself frequently inching forward in anticipation and appreciation) for what proved to be among my best expenditures of two hours in recent memory. The show title was “Music In Motion” — and what an apt title! The show kept a fast pace throughout, leaving virtually no “white space.”
Space doesn’t allow for a song-by-song account of the show, but overall I thought it was a masterful mix of familiar songs, performed by a talented mélange of performers (full chorus, men’s chorus, women’s chorus, soloists, duets, quartets, sextets) in a satisfying array of styles (ballads, easy beat, up-tempo, jazz, Latino — even a bit of gospel).
The solos — by Darlene Williams (“Walk On By”), J R Keith (“Over The Rainbow”/”What A Wonderful World,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat”), Tom Harmon (as Elvis in “C’mon Everybody”) — were performed flawlessly and with professional flair. The small group sets — duets, quartets, sextets, octets, men’s/women’s choruses — were likewise well-rehearsed and polished, with a great sense of musical tonality and balance. One number — a “Let’s Dance” medley by the women’s chorus — could perhaps have benefitted from a bit more precision — but I quibble. The accompanists (Karen Reed — piano, and Irv Gidding — bass, trumpet, guitar), provided the perfect counterpoint to the vocals. All four — count ‘em, FOUR — directors (Darlene Williams, Karen Reed, J R Keith, and Irv Giddings) are obviously enormously talented, with a deep understanding of the songs and a close communication with the singers.
The Karen Reed script flowed well, with just the right mix of timing, information, and humor. David Payne’s M.C. work moved the show along smoothly with appropriate commentary (including several extemporaneous — and funny — “asides”).
Well done, Choraliers — can’t wait until your next show!